Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
  • |
  • |
  • Lister Petter TR1; Simplistic Single Cylinder Power

Lister Petter TR1; Simplistic Single Cylinder Power

Simple Single-Cylinder Power

John Lehenbauer
Aug 29, 2018
Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturer
Lister Petter’s lineage dates back to 1867, when Robert Ashton Lister founded the R.A. Lister Company to manufacture agricultural machinery. Lister’s initial foray into engines was in 1909, when it obtained the manufacturing rights to Stover Manufacturing and Engine Company gas engines. It wasn’t until 1929 that Lister developed and produced its first cold-start (CS) diesel engine. That first oil-burner was a single-cylinder unit that mustered 9 hp and became known as the Lister 9-1.
By 1930, Lister was producing a more extensive lineup of CS diesels. The slow-running (600 rpm) and reliable CSs were well suited for powering electric generators and irrigation pumps. These engines gained a reputation for longevity and reliability. The traditional Brunswick Green color of the Lister Petter engines dates back to these early units.
The other half of Lister Petter was established as JB Petter & Sons in 1896. Petter’s first production engine was an oil-burner that made 2.5 hp. The oil engine’s popularity led to more than a thousand of them bing sold by 1904 in capacities ranging from 1 to 30 hp in both two- and four-stroke configurations. Later production of both gas and diesel powerplants was very successful, with certain models competing well with Lister. Petter developed innovative engine designs like patented oil-cooled pistons and small spherical end bearings that yielded low engine operating temperatures.
Photo 2/7   |   The Lister Petter TR1 is a single-cylinder diesel engine that weighs 337 pounds, making it well suited for applications like irrigation pumps and generators.
The Petter company went through several different incarnations as an engine manufacturer through the years, joining forces with other corporations and business partners. In 1986, it merged with Lister to form Lister Petter.
Today, Lister Petter produces a broad range of small diesel engines that have a reputation of being rugged and lasting. They range in size from single-cylinder units to I-6 engines that support such applications as small offshore boats, pumps, and generators. The highest-output offering is the company’s Gamma Series six-cylinder that makes 164 hp.
At the other end of the spectrum is the smallest engine in the stable, the single-cylinder TR1, which makes a whopping 12.7 hp. The TR1 is in the T Series and has two siblings, the TR2 and TR3. The TR2 has one additional cylinder, while the TR3 adds another for a total of three.
Photo 3/7   |   Many of the TR1s are outfitted with a fuel tank, but an optional lift pump is available for engines being used with remote-mounted tanks.
The rugged TR1 is an air-cooled workhorse available in either a variable or fixed-speed configuration. The engine is used mainly to power pumps and generators that run continuously for extended periods. An efficient cooling system design enables continuous operations in temperatures up to 122 degrees. Temperature is regulated by means of airflow from a flywheel-mounted fan that is directed over deep fins engineered into the crankcase and over the fins of the cylinder barrel by an ensemble of cowling, ducts, and baffles.
The simple design of the T Series engines is a key factor in their reliability. The need for electronics is eliminated by the use of a mechanical governor, air-cooling, natural aspiration, a hand start (electric start is an option), decompression lever, and a direct-injection system that is self-venting and uses an individual injection pump for each cylinder. A self-regulating plunger-type pump circulates the lubricating oil throughout the engine while a spin-on filter mounted to the side of the block takes care of oil filtration. This architecture makes the engine easy to work on and repair. The exhaust and intake are even integrated into one manifold.
A wide variety of options is available to tailor the TR1 to different applications. It can be set up with a mechanical lift pump (for applications not using gravity-fed fuel), fuel-control solenoid, heavier-duty air filter, and remote oil-filter mount. Engines used in tight confines can be outfitted with a shorter dry-sump oil system.
Photo 4/7   |   The cooling fan is part of the flywheel assembly and supplies air to the case and cylinder barrels by way of cowlings, ducts, and baffles.
The engine features a crankcase assembly with a removable cylinder barrel. The cylinder head sits atop the barrel and studs hold the assembly together. A low-expansion alloy piston is used to maintain close tolerances throughout the heat cycle. A single camshaft actuates one valve in and one out.
The simple little diesel runs efficiently enough to meet EU Stage IIIA exhaust emissions with no emissions equipment.


Engine: Lister Petter TR1
Displacement: 0.773L (47.17 ci)
Engine Layout: Single cylinder
Valvetrain: 2-valve
Bore x Stroke: 3.875 x 4.0 inches (98.42 x 101.6 mm)
Compression Ratio: 15.5:1
Head material: Cast-iron
Block material: Cast-iron
Piston material: Low-expansion alloy
Power: 12.7 hp (9.5 kw)
Torque: 26.8 lb-ft (36.3 Nm)
Emissions: EU Stage IIIA
Induction: Natural
Exhaust: Cast-iron
Intercooler: N/A
Cooling System: Air cooled
Fuel System: Direct injection
Lubrication System: Wet sump
Lubrication Capacity: 2.8 quarts (2.7L)
Dry Weight: 337 pounds (153 kg)
Length: 17.5 inches (444 mm)
Width: 20.5 inches (521 mm)
Height: 26.9 inches (683 mm)


Lister Petter



Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend

Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power

Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to: